X-ray Technician Schools in Illinois

  • Individuals seeking a career as an X-ray technician or technologist may pursue education such as radiologic or radiographic certificates or associate’s,  bachelor’s, or master’s degrees.
  • Students can consider accreditation through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) when selecting a radiography program(1).
  • Individuals selecting an Illinois X-ray technician school should consider factors including application requirements, goals and objectives, expenses, financial aid, and job placement. 
  • Before selecting an X-ray technician school, individuals should think about whether they seek an X-ray technician or technologist career. In general, the medical industry considers technologists to be healthcare professionals. 

X-ray Tech Schools in Illinois

Illinois residents may seek formal training in medical radiography (X-ray). These individuals include those in cities and towns, including:

  • Belleville 
  • Centralia   
  • Chicago
  • Glen Ellyn 
  • Grayslake 
  • Palatine
  • Peoria 
  • Quincy 
  • River Grove
  • Springfield

Individuals may select from several options, including(2):  

  • College and universities offering radiologic technology (RT) degrees 
  • Schools offering a certificate program in radiologic science 
  • Associate’s degree in radiologic science 
  • Schools offering a bachelor’s degree in radiologic science 
  • Master’s or advanced degree in radiologic science  
  • Schools with medical imaging programs that are Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)-accredited. 
  • Schools with a medical imaging program that is Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)-accredited. 
  • Schools with medical imaging program that is Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT)-accredited 

List of X-Ray Tech Schools

Several schools in the state of Illinois offer formal training in medical imaging, including(3)

  • Benedictine University    
  • Blessing Hospital School of Radiologic Technology    
  • Carl Sandburg College    
  • College of DuPage    
  • College of Lake County    
  • Danville Area Community College    
  • Elgin Community College    
  • Heartland Community College    
  • Illinois Central College    
  • John A. Logan College    
  • John Wood Community College    
  • Joliet Junior College    
  • Kankakee Community College    
  • Kaskaskia College    
  • Kishwaukee College    
  • Lewis University    
  • Lincoln Land Community College    
  • Malcolm X College    
  • Moraine Valley Community College    
  • National University of Health Sciences    
  • North Central College     
  • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine    
  • Olney Central College    
  • Parkland College    
  • Rend Lake College    
  • Resurrection University    
  • Richland Community College    
  • Roosevelt University     
  • Rush University  
  • Sauk Valley Community College    
  • Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (Associates)    
  • Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (Bachelors)    
  • Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (Masters)    
  • South Suburban College 
  • Southwestern Illinois College   
  • Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences    
  • Triton College       
  • University of Chicago        
  • University of St. Francis        
  • Wilbur Wright College     
  • William Rainey Harper College    

Students selecting an X-ray tech school in Illinois should thoroughly research their options. For instance, entities often rank the St. Francis School of Radiography among the state’s top-rated radiography schools. However, other schools may meet other students’ needs.  

List of Programs

X-ray technicians can often complete their training within one or two years(4). A bachelor’s degree in radiology typically takes four years, while an associate’s degree usually takes two years. Meanwhile, individuals can often complete certificate programs within one year(4). 

In some cases, college graduates can transfer credits towards an X-ray technician or technologist program to complete the program sooner through continuing education programs. However, the students can also complete the program within months.  

Here are radiology programs that X-ray technicians may consider:

Radiologic Technology Certificate

This certificate is also known as a radiology certificate. It is the minimum educational requirement in the field of radiologic technology(5). 

Schools may refer to these certificates as limited scope X-ray programs, which prepare candidates to work safely with X-ray machines.

Schools offer these degrees at the undergraduate level. Students may also earn certificates in multiple modalities. Individuals can typically earn these certificates within one year(6).  

Individuals seeking a career as an X-ray technician or technologist may consider options such as radiography certifications. Radiography is the medical process of taking X-ray photographs(7)

Radiologic Technology Associate’s Degree

Several community colleges and technical schools offer associate’s degree programs in radiology technology

An Associate’s Degree in RT is frequently the minimum requirement for working in hospitals and healthcare facilities.    

An Associate of Science (AS) in RT can include various modalities, including radiography(8)

Students may also consider alternatives such as an associate in applied science. They can then select a major, specialization, or concentration related to X-ray technology.

Bachelors in Radiologic Technology

Common names for a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Radiologic Technology include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology (BSRT)
  • Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences 
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Radiologic Technology
  • Bachelor of Radiography 
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

A bachelor’s degree may help X-ray technicians earn a higher salary or achieve greater career and management opportunities. 

A BS in Radiologic Technology typically takes four years. More schools allow individuals with medical imaging degrees to earn a BS in Radiologic Science(9).

Students seeking an X-ray career may consider majoring in radiologic technology or radiography(10). These majors focus on health workers’ use of X-ray equipment rather than other modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography scans (CT scans).  

For example, students may earn a radiologic technology degree while majoring in medical imaging science. 

Other potential specializations or concentrations include mammography and radiation therapy.

After students earn an RT degree, regulating bodies may require them to pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exams. 

Master’s in Radiologic Technology 

Students with a BS can typically earn a Master’s degree in RT within two years(11). Such advanced degrees provide an advanced understanding of biomedical imaging. For example, individuals may wish to become radiologist assistants (RA).     

X-Ray Technician Program vs. Radiology Technologist Program

An X-ray tech may refer to an X-ray technician or technologist. The primary difference is that X-ray technologists are healthcare professionals, while X-ray technicians are not(12)

For instance, X-ray technologists operate X-ray equipment and interact directly with patients.  

Steps to Become a Radiology Technologist in Illinois

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) provides accreditation to all radiology technologists and technicians within the state.  

IEMA’s accreditation options include:

  • Medical technologist
  • Diagnostic imaging specialist
  • Therapeutic radiological physicist

The general process for RT accreditation in Illinois includes(13)

  • Completing an accredited program in a selected modality 
  • Passing a qualifying professional exam 
  • Applying for an IEMA modality 
  • Receiving an IEMA license
  • Applying for ARRT certification  

Program Goals and Outcomes

Goals and objectives of X-ray schools may include(14-15):

Demonstrating Clinical Competence 

Examples include radiation safety principles and proper positioning skills. 

Develop Communication Skills

These skills include written and oral skills. Applications should have the ability to write research papers and effectively communicate with patients or other technicians or technologists. 

Develop Professionalism

X-ray techs can demonstrate professionalism through their behavior and attitude. Examples include: 

  • Understanding commitment to ethics and values
  • Demonstrating compassionate patient care  
  • Participating in professional and personal growth activities 

Demonstrating the Ability to Adjust Routine Protocols

Students should conduct non-routine exams.      

Providing Quality Radiographic Technologists to the Healthcare Industry 

Examples include:

  • Students starting the program should graduate
  • Graduates should pass ARRT exams during their first attempt, 
  • Graduates will work as X-ray technicians or technologists    

Graduates Demonstrate Effective Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

Graduates should demonstrate appropriate problem-solving and critical thinking skills in adjusting patient care due to:

  • Patient’s health condition 
  • Performing radiographic procedures

Graduates Demonstrate the Skills Required for Entry-Level RT Jobs

Students should:

  • Comprehend and apply as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principles to patients
  • Demonstrate knowledge of human anatomy and pathology
  • Demonstrate quality patient care 
  • Operate radiographic equipment to optimize images produced


Individuals who are considering becoming radiographic technicians or technologists in Illinois should consider whether a particular school is accredited.  

This factor is especially critical in Illinois, which is among the nation’s largest employers of radiological technologists(16)

Individuals may also consider whether a potential X-ray tech school has secured national accreditation, such as the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

JRCERT accreditation of an educational program can provide students and graduates assurance that their education program provides the required skills, knowledge, and values that employers require. This accreditation also helps make students eligible for nationwide licensure(17).  

JRCERT-accredited schools can provide these benefits for Illinois RT students. 

Admission Criteria and Prerequisites

X-ray technician schools in Illinois may require various admissions requirements and prerequisites, including the following(18):

High School Diploma 

A radiological school may require applicants to possess a high school diploma or high school equivalency. The schools may also require applicants to meet college prerequisites. 

Associate’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree

Some schools may require applicants to receive such degrees by a program’s start date. 

Completing Particular Coursework 

Applicants must complete coursework, such as anatomy, human anatomy, physiology, or college algebra. 

Types of courses students must often complete, including general education, include:

  • Medical terminology  
  • Social and behavioral sciences   
  • Written and oral communication 
  • Arts and humanities

Before applying to an X-ray tech school, individuals should research the “completion rate.” The completion rate is the success rate of a particular task(19). In this case, it is completing an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. 


The costs of training to become an X-ray technician or technologist are based on factors like level of training. The options include radiographic certifications, associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and graduate degrees. 

Other expenses of X-ray schools may include:

  • Tuition 
  • Books
  • Fees 

The number of hours full-time and part-time students spend in the classroom and clinic can affect the total expenses a student must pay. For example, a bachelor’s degree typically takes twice as long to complete as an associate’s degree

However, students should research whether the total cost of X-ray tech programs includes the costs of books and additional fees like room and board. For instance, a two-year certificate program’s advertised cost may not include additional fees.  

Illinois is among the US states that charge an accreditation fee in radiation technology and require applicants to submit an ARRT certification card when seeking accreditation(20)

Financial Aid

Students striving to become radiologic technologists, such as X-ray technicians, must invest in formal training, such as a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, or RT certification. 

However, certain students may require financial assistance to complete their education. They may benefit from various academic, financial, and career resources. This option can help make education more affordable. 

The various financial aid opportunities include(21)

Scholarships and Grants

Grants are typically based on financial need, while scholarships are based on student achievement(22)

Unlike traditional loans, providers of grants and scholarships do not require students to repay them. However, students are often required to maintain a particular grade point average (GPA) or academic standard. 

Aside from tuition, radiology tech scholarships may also cover costs, such as books.

The types of grants and scholarships for X-ray tech students include school-based scholarships. Governments, foundations, businesses, charities, and individuals may also provide scholarships. 

Academic and Professional Support Resources 

Such resources and support services are available at various locations. They include an RT school’s student support center, professional organizations, and online communities. 

Job Placement

X-ray tech schools may also help graduating students through job placement services. Some schools assist students through their career success centers. Such centers can help students achieve career success upon completing a radiologic technology program

Certain schools offer a job placement rate, providing insights on the percent of students that secure entry-level jobs upon graduation.  

The United StatesBureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that the 2020 to 2030 job growth rate of radiologic MRI technologists would be 9%(23). This figure is above the average compared to other fields.  

What Is an X-Ray Technician and Technologist?

X-ray technicians are radiologic workers specializing in using equipment to take diagnostic imagery of medical patients(24)

X-ray techs provide patient care while conducting a wide range of radiographic procedures. Meanwhile, radiologic technologists may be responsible for conducting other types of diagnostic imaging, including MRIs and CT scans. 

X-ray technicians may also maintain X-ray equipment, prepare patients for imaging procedures, and read the results of imaging scans(25)

Career Opportunities

Radiographic-related career opportunities in radiology include(26):

Radiographer: This individual performs various radiographic or X-ray examinations.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist: This professional uses computers and powerful magnets to create human body images. 

Computed Tomography (CT) Technologist: CT technologists make detailed cross-sectional images of the human body’s internal structures. 


The average salary for X-ray technicians in Illinois can vary significantly based on various factors. The average hourly salary of an  X-ray technician in Illinois may be  $28.26(27)

For example, individuals with less experience, including entry-level positions, may earn $24 per hour, while those with a decade of experience may earn $36 per hour. 

Meanwhile, the average yearly salary of an X-ray technologist in Illinois may be about $45,400(28)

Other potential factors affecting average salaries include educational level, industry certifications, and state region. 


When considering careers such as X-ray technicians, one should consider the field’s job outlook. Valuable resources include the BLS to learn the occupation’s projected job growth.  


Illinois schools offering formal X-ray technician training include:

  • Colleges and universities
  • Schools offering radiologic science certificates
  • Schools with medical imaging programs. 

Students should consider schools offering national accreditation such as JRCERT certification to help them acquire the skills and knowledge required as an X-ray technician.   

X-ray technologists are often considered healthcare professionals who interact directly with patients and operate X-ray equipment. Meanwhile, X-ray technicians may interact with patients before X-ray imaging and prepare X-ray equipment. 

Illinois is among the nation’s biggest employers of radiological technologists(29). 

29 Sources

  1. Radiology Technologist Schools and Careers in Illinois
  2. Ibid.
  3. Radiology Technologist Schools and Careers in Illinois
  4. FAQ: How Much Time Does It Take To Be an X-Ray Tech?
  5. Radiology degrees
  6. Ibid.
  7. Radiography
  8. Associate’s Degree in Radiologic Technology
  9. Radiology degrees
  10. Ibid.
  11. Master’s Degree in Radiology
  12. X-Ray Technologist vs. X-Ray Technician: What’s the Difference?
  13. Radiology Technologist Schools and Careers in Illinois
  14. Radiography Goals
  15. School of radiologic technology
  16. Where to Study Radiologic Technology in Illinois
  17. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic
  18. School of Radiologic Technology Admissions & Application.
  19. Completion rate
  20. How much does x-ray technician school cost?
  21. Scholarships & Online Resources for Radiology Tech Students
  22. Grants, Scholarships & Loans: What’s the Difference?
  23. Radiologic and MRI Technologists
  24. What Does an X-Ray Tech Do? A Clearer Picture of This Radiology Role
  25. Ibid.
  26. A World of Career Opportunities in Radiologic Technology
  27. X-ray Technician salary in Illinois
  28. X Ray Technologist Salary in Illinois
  29. Where to Study Radiologic Technology in Illinois
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